A HEADTEACHER has hit back and insisted her school is on the up after Ofsted inspectors said it needed to improve.

Melanie Gaskin started her job at Greensted Junior School, in Kirby Road, Basildon, in August 2012 when it was granted academy status.

In an Ofsted report, which was published this week, the school was rated as “requires improvement”, but Mrs Gaskin insists the school is already on track to become “good”.

She believes “significant improvements” have been made since Greensted became a sponsor-led academy, and this is reflected in the fact the school is oversubscribed for the first time.

Two years ago, Greensted recorded the best SATs results in its history, but last year Ofsted said pupils were found to be six months behind national standards.

The school is now right on track to be celebrating impressive results once again.

Mrs Gaskin, who has taken pupils on a field trip to the Isle of Wight, said: “Newlyappointed subject leaders have developed well in post, which will be reflected in the good results expected this summer.

“Last week, the school’s writing was moderated externally and indicate results have already exceeded the targets set for this year and will be in line or better than the national average.”

One parent said she thought Greensted had “gone downhill” and blamed a lack of school trips for taking away the “friendly, happy environment”.

Mrs Gaskin insists this is far from the truth. Year 6 pupils are currently enjoying the residential trip on the Isle of Wight, and a group of children recently returned from a reward trip to Harry Potter World.

This was fully subsidised by the school for the first time ever.

Ofsted graded the behaviour and safety of pupils as good, with all other areas – achievement of pupils, quality of teaching and leadership and management – requiring improvement.

They also praised Mrs Gaskin for improving behaviour, attendance, teaching and achievement since beginning at the school.

Inspector Ruth Dollner praised teachers at Greensted for being caring and approachable, making pupils feel safe and creating a “sense of family and community”.

Mrs Gaskin added: “The message from Ofsted is we now have everything in place to move rapidly forward to becoming ‘good’ in all four categories of the inspection framework.”